The Forward Five – Monday, 1/20/20

13 mins read

Five Things to Know Today

McConnell has yet to share memo on impeachment rules, Sen. Dick Durbin says
With President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial expected to begin Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has yet to share a memo about the rules, a leading Democrat said. Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Sen. Dick Durbin said the Senate’s leadership team hasn’t been negotiating behind the scenes and the memo hasn’t been shared. That memo, he said, “is supposed to kick off this entire trial.”

Durbin, the chamber’s minority whip, said he didn’t know what motions might be called for Tuesday because, “we don’t know what the McConnell memo or resolution includes as we start up.” “We’re less than, a little over 48 hours away from the trial actually commencing, and there hasn’t been the most basic negotiation or exchange of information,” said Durbin, D-Illinois. (Courier-Journal)

Bill to ban female genital mutilation passes out of Senate health committee; Kentucky is one of 15 states where practice is still legal
A bipartisan bill to ban female genital mutilation in Kentucky unanimously passed out of committee and now goes to the full Senate for consideration. (Forward Kentucky)

Chilly, windy, rainy – but still the women marched.
Del Ramey and Cathy Hill were at the Women’s March in Louisville on Saturday, and shared this report and these pictures. Rain didn’t stop these women from showing up and speaking out! (Forward Kentucky)

Robert Kahne on the 2020 candidate filings
With the early filing deadline, we already know who is running this year. Robert Kahne looks at the overall picture, and digs into certain races as well. (Forward Kentucky)

Heading into Iowa: Where do the Democratic candidates stand on health care coverage?
For many Americans, health care remains one of the most important topics in the 2020 election. Here is an excellent analysis of the positions of the Dem candidates. (Forward Kentucky)

KYGA20 Run-Down
Bills are still being filed, and bills are moving through the process. Rather than pull any of these into the “five things to know” section, we’re simply listing some of the stories in the media. Note that some of these may never even be heard in committee, while others may wind up on a fast track for passage.

This week’s Good Bill (HB 88) and Bad Bill (SB 2) – Each week during the session, Robert Kahne and Jazmin Smith of My Old Kentucky Podcast list their Good Bill and Bad Bill of the week, along with why those bills are good or bad. This week’s bills are HB 88, the Maternal Care bill, and SB 2, the Voter ID bill. (Forward Kentucky)

Is marijuana legal in Kentucky? No, but several bills could change that – Several bills and a resolution are currently in the Kentucky General Assembly that could affect marijuana legalization in the commonwealth in 2020. (Courier-Journal)

House Republicans to offer public assistance reform bill – Republican leaders in the Kentucky House are preparing to unveil legislation aimed at increasing the state’s workforce by offering transitional support to ease people off public assistance. The measure is expected to be introduced next week and will be House Bill 1, House Speaker David Osborne said Friday. The bill designation signals it’s one of the top priorities for House GOP leaders.

The measure is intended to tackle “systemic problems” that can discourage people from taking jobs out of fear of losing public benefits, Osborne said. The result is that people remain locked in poverty. The goal is to encourage people to enter the workforce by helping them overcome such barriers as health insurance and child care costs, Osborne told reporters. (Kentucky Today)

Who are you and what are you doing? Answer or be detained under Kentucky Senate bill. – A bill pending in the Kentucky Senate would give police new powers to stop people on the street and demand that they identify themselves and explain their actions, drawing criticism from civil rights lawyers who say that would be an unconstitutional device likely used against minority groups. (Herald-Leader)

Confederate holidays have been in KY law for nearly 100 years. This bill would change that. – Kentucky was a neutral state in the Civil War, with the majority of people fighting for the union, but the state’s list of official holidays has celebrated Confederate General Robert E. Lee and Confederate Memorial Day for nearly 100 years. This year, Rep. Jerry Miller (R-Louisville) hopes to change that. (Herald-Leader)

Tired of lies, KY legislative leaders may require committee witnesses to take an oath – House Speaker David Osborne and Senate President Robert Stivers are considering a rule change that would require witnesses who testify during legislative committee meetings to be sworn in under oath, possibly subjecting them to perjury charges if they lie. (Forward Kentucky)

Kentucky’s GOP legislature may give Andy Beshear extra year in office if he’s reelected – SB 3 would shift elections for governor to even-numbered years, starting in 2028. This would push back the 2027 statewide elections by one year. (Forward Kentucky)

Medical marijuana advocates more hopeful it will pass, but main foe cites lack of research – A bill to legalize marijuana for medical purposes has been filed in the Kentucky General Assembly, with great hopes by advocates in the House, but the Senate remains a tough sell. (Forward Kentucky)

Not all stories on Forward Kentucky make it to the top “Five Things” section of the Forward Five! Many stories only show up in the yellow section below, which is a running list of pretty much everything published. So, be sure to scan the lower section each day as well, so you don’t miss anything.

Did you miss any of these?
Featured Content on Forward Kentucky

([new] indicates new since last Forward Five; 🔥 indicates lots of reads)


[new] After heavy criticism, sponsor of Kentucky ‘sanctuary’ immigration bill plans changes – Sen. Danny Carroll announced Thursday that he will change parts of Senate Bill 1 and is “committed to keeping our door open for changes.” (read)

🔥 [new] Rep. Thomas Massie (‘Mr. No’) faces a Kentucky reckoning in 2020 – Rep. Massie values his independence, voting with Trump less than any other KY Republican in DC. Now he’s got a challenger claiming to support Trump more. (read)

Bill that allows betting on UK, U of L sports advances in legislature – A bill to legalize sports betting in Kentucky was amended Wednesday to allow betting on the sports teams of in-state public universities. House Bill 137, which would legalize sports betting at horse racetracks and the Kentucky Speedway, was unanimously approved by a House Committee Wednesday. It now goes to the full House of Representatives for a vote. (read)

🔥 Republican lawmakers join the fight to ban conversion therapy in Kentucky – Led by a Republican legislator, a bipartisan group of Kentucky state senators proposed a bill that would effectively ban conversion therapy, a practice that attempts to change one’s sexual orientation or gender identity, in the commonwealth. (read)

West Kentucky election roundup – some “interesting” races – Here’s a look at some of the races in West Kentucky, including a “scorecard” to show who is running where, and thoughts by activist Daniel Hurt. (read)

New House minority leader Joni Jenkins on issues, bills, and Republicans – As Joni Jenkins starts her first term as leader of the Dem caucus in the House, she sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Forward Kentucky. (read)


[new] All will be well in Trumpistan – The so-called “trial” in the Senate reminds Berry Craig of the Scopes “Monkey Trial,” with the outcome just as pre-ordained. (read)

[new] MLK: ‘The unions and the NAACP go hand-in-hand’ – As we celebrate Martin Luther King Day, contributor Berry Craig reminds us that for Dr. King, the labor movement and the civil rights movement were intertwined. (read)

🔥 Here are some GOOD voting bills to support. – While SB 2 is getting a lot of attention, there are actually a number of GOOD voting bills that we should tell our leges to vote for. Here’s a list. (read)

The immigration bill — Dog-whistle, or distraction? – SB 1 doesn’t address a significant problem and is a really bad bill. WHY, then, did Senate Repubs decide to introduce it as their #1 priority this session? (read)


Three reasons the Voter ID bill is bad — and what we should do instead – SB2, the Voter ID bill, is a bad bill. Dr. Neal Turpin gives three reasons it is bad, and lays out what we should be doing instead. (read)


[new podcast] Senate Bill 2, filing deadline, and interview with Martina Jackson – An interview w/ Martina Jackson, running for House 81. Also, Jazmin on Senate Bill 2, Robert on candidates who have filed, and “Good Bill/Bad Bill.” (listen)

Posts with Most Social Media Shares in Past Fourteen Days

(🔥 indicates post with surge of recent shares)

The Forward 5 is published Monday to Friday by Forward Kentucky, an independent media organization focused on progressive news and issues in Kentucky, and is re-posted with permission. You can sign up for the email version of the newsletter on their website.

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Forward Kentucky is an independent media organization focused on progressive news and issues in Kentucky. Our objectives are to provide journalism that is objective, policies that are effective, and commentary that is progressive. Our goal is to help Kentucky become all that it can be through government that works, for all. We are "the progressive voice for Kentucky politics."

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